Is Black Sabbath planning one last tour or just fading into the darkness? This week, the band officially announced the cancellation of its November 22 Ozzfest Japan show, originally introduced by Sharon Osbourne as its "farewell."
No reason was given for the band's withdrawal from the event, but guitarist Tony Iommi took to his Facebook page to refute reports that his continuing battle with cancer was partly to blame.
"Thank you for all the enquiries about my health; [it's] very kind," he wrote. "I'm not sure how the rumour of my being unwell started as I was away on holiday! Once you've had something like lymphoma, the fear that it will return never leaves. All I can say is that right now I'm fine and have regular blood tests."
A Sabbath rep says, "There have been ongoing discussions about a Sabbath farewell tour, though nothing has been officially confirmed by the band."
This echoes Ozzy Osbourne's words in 2014, when he revealed the band planned to go on a final tour and recording one last album, with producer Rick Rubin.
Back on March 23, Sharon Osbourne broke news of the Ozzfest Japan show via an online video. Ozzy's wife and manager announced, "Ozzfest will be back in Japan on November 21st and 22nd. And this will be Black Sabbath's farewell." Fans were left to wonder whether she was referring to the legendary metal act's farewell to Japan or farewell to performing live altogether.
Ozzfest Japan is scheduled for November 21 and 22, at the Makuhari Messe venue, located outside Tokyo. A performance billed as "Ozzy Osbourne (and friends)" will take the place of Black Sabbath for the November 22 headlining slot.